I was mistaken
All those years
Those sweetest ours
Thinking I was making love
When in truth
Love was making me
This love poem, as most of my poems, can be read several ways. Of course, the simplest reading is a testament to the transformative power of romantic relationship love. Love is more than something that we, as individuals, “make.” Love is something larger than ourselves that we participate in. Love makes us better humans, much more so than could be designed by our minds however clever, or imagined by our hearts however large and open. Certainly, love makes us better than we could ever be outside of human relationships, on our own.
When thinking of poetry, I suspect that thinking of love poems is the most common and iconic. Love, the mystery of mysteries, is at the heart of poetry, trying to put into words that which can’t quite be put into words. I have described writing poetry as the heart and mind making love. The melding of the workings of the heart and mind is a struggle for balance and wholeness that pervades every human endeavor.
Psalm 85:10 describes this as peace and justice kissing. My intent in writing this poem was also to allude to such a wide theme, that of loving the world in a way that makes the world a better place for all. Peace and justice kissing is the way this becomes a reality in the world. Practicing that discipline of love makes us better humans, even if the reciprocity of that love is not immediately evident. Describing such ventures as love of God — love of Love — is a common spiritual discipline to carry us through the dry patches of of unrequited love on earth. Such love lives in the hope that the way of love (God’s will) will be “on earth as it is in heaven” (from the Lord’s prayer). Of course, the demands of justice are trans-generational, perhaps perpetual, requiring a patience and perspective beyond our own life. We don’t work simply for ourselves, that is if we are working in love and for justice. It strikes me, sometimes in the face, that love of enemy is the gold standard spiritual practice for melding peace and justice, holding fast to perfecting love, in creating a world where one side fits all. Every loving act brings us closer to peace and justice, no matter how far off they seem. Every loving act engenders hope and courage for both the gentle patience and bold courage needed for peace and justice to kiss. May you find love in every personal relationship, within your community, and in every conception of God you may have.